Professional 16-Chanel AD/DA Converter
The A16 XLR, following in the tradition of the successful A16 converter, is a
very compact multi-channel 24bit/96kHz AD/DA-converter offering
uncompromising audio quality. It combines the qualities that made its
forerunner so popular with today's latest audio technology.
The A16 XLR simultaneously converts 16 analog audio channels to digital and
16 digital channels to analog. The digital interfacing is provided through two
ADAT or two Z-Link interfaces. An additional slot is reserved for possible future
options, which might become available at a later stage.
An automatic memory function stores the current settings when you switch the
unit off, so you can get back to work quickly and easily when you resume your
Not only because of its audiophile quality, but also because of its flexibility and
expandability, the A16 XLR will prove itself daily to be a perfect fit for your
professional studio.
ADAT and Z-Link interfaces ''A'' correspond to analog channels 1-8; ADAT and
Z-Link interfaces ''B'' correspond to analog channels 9-16.
The analog inputs and outputs are balanced and can be configured, by group,
to professional or consumer levels with 4 DIP switches (rear of the unit).
The Synchronization button selects the clock source for the sample rate. In
Master mode, the Sample Rate button selects the desired sample rate. In
Slave mode, the sample rate is indicated here, and the Sample Rate button is
used to switch between S-Mux and normal operation. In normal operation, all
sample rates less than 50kHz are indicated.
A16 XLR as Word Clock Master
When the Master LED is green, the A16 XLR is operating in Master mode.
The sampling frequency used by the analog-to-digital (ADC) and digital-toanalog (DAC) converters is derived from a highly stable internal clock
generator. Using the Sample Rate button, the sample rate can be set to 32kHz,
44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz or 96kHz. A sample clock signal is available at the
Word Clock Out BNC connector on the rear of the unit. This signal is used to
synchronize additional external devices to the sample clock.
The front panel contains the power switch, two buttons (Synchronization and
Sample Rate) and 11 light emitting diodes (LEDs) to indicate the device status.
It also contains the 16 five-segment level indicators for precise analog input
When switched on, the green power LED indicates that the unit is operational.
If the unit is operating in Master mode at 88.2kHz or 96kHz, the ADAT
interfaces switch automatically to S-Mux. In this case, ADAT A corresponds to
analog channels 1-4, and ADAT B to channels 9-12.
A16 XLR as Slave: ADAT and Word Clock
A16 XLR as Z-Link Slave
The ADAT LED lights in green to indicate that the A16 XLR is in ADAT Slave
mode. If this LED lights in red, it is an indication that no ADAT signal is present
at the ADAT inputs (possibly because the optical cable is not connected).
The Z-Link LED lights green to indicate, that the A16 XLR is connected to a
computer, which has been assigned to control the A16 XLR as master. In this
case the sample rate is selected remotely via the computer.
The Word Clock LED lights green to indicate that the A16 XLR is synchronized
to the clock signal present at the Word Clock IN (BNC) connector. If this LED
lights red, it is an indication that no Word Clock signal is present at the Word
Clock input.
In Z-Link mode, up to two ADAT-compatible devices interfaced via the optical
connectors can be accessed via the PC without the need for recabling. The
Sample Rate button is used to determine, whether these devices can be
accessed or not. The level indicator array provides a simple text display and
briefly shows either ''ANLG'' or ''ADAT''. Pushing the button once causes the
current setting to be displayed, while pushing it twice in rapid succession
(”double-clicking”) causes the setting to change.
A special situation arises in Slave mode, if the incoming samplerate at the
ADAT or Word Clock inputs ranges between 38kHz - 50kHz:
The ADAT signal itself provides no indication on
whether it is transmitting a ''true'' 48kHz 8-channel
signal or a multiplexed 96kHz 4-channel signal.
Therefore this setting must be selected manually.
Pushing the Sample Rate button switches between
Normal and S-MUX operation. The Sample Rate LEDs
alternate between 48 kHz and 96 kHz accordingly.
When the 96kHz LED is lit, the A16 XLR is operating as
an ADAT slave in S-MUX mode. Similar behavior
applies with an ADAT or Word Clock input signal
frequency of 44.1kHz.
In contrary to the ADAT signal, a Word Clock input signal can have a frequency
of 88.2kHz or 96kHz. When these frequencies are detected at an input, the
A16 XLR unit switches automatically into the S-MUX mode.
is similar to the normal A16 Ultra operating mode.
Additionally, the analog input signals are sent to the
ADAT out connectors (after being converted by the
ADC). This allow i.e. during recording session via the
A16 XLR, to hook up an original ADAT-XT tape in order
to make backup recordings.
indicates, that the A16 XLR now is configured as a ZLink <-> ADAT Interface. This configuration can be
used i.e. to transfer an ADAT recording from tape to the
computer. The signals being transferred are
simultaneously available via the ADAT outputs and - via
the A16 XLR DACs - as analog signals.
If a sample rate of 88.2kHz or 96kHz is selected while in Z-Link mode, the
ADAT interfaces are automatically switched into the S-MUX operation mode.
The Option LED is reserved for future A16 XLR expansion options and nonfunctional until then.
Since the maximum signal or numerical value which can be faithfully
converted constitutes the practical upper limit for all AD/DA converters, this
limit is represented as 0 dBFS (FuII Scale) in the level display and signfies that
the analog input signal is just barely at the level at which numerical overload is
about to occur. However the red LED lights starting at a level of -0.5 dBFS,
thus providing a warning of impending overload before it actually occurs.
In any digital system, it is desirable to use as many ''bits'' as possible in order to
keep the noise component of the signal to a minimum (each bit used
corresponds to approximately 6 dB additional signal-to-noise ratio).
The A16 XLR is equipped with
balanced inputs and outputs. The A16
XLR can be adapted to various
standards via the DIP switches on its
rear panel. The analog inputs can be
set in groups for an input sensitivity of
either -10dBv or +4dBu. The same
applies to the analog outputs.
The level at each of the 16 inputs is displayed via a 5-segment peak indicator.
The yellow and red LEDs are equipped with a peak-hold function for improved
readability. The LEDs light in succession at the following signal levels: -60
dBFS; -12 dBFS; -6 dBFS; -3 dBFS and -0,5 dBFS.
As a basic rule of thumb for optimal recordings, input signal levels should be
adjusted so that the red LEDs never or only very seldom light - that is, as high
as possible without causing overloading. This ensures that all bits will be used
and that the noise floor will be as low as possible.
The functions of the DIP switches are as follows:
Prof (+4dBu )
Consumer (-10dBv)
Level (Gain) for input group A
Prof (+4dBu )
Consumer (-10dBv)
Level (Gain) for input group B
OUT-A Prof (+4dBu )
Consumer (-10dBv)
Level (Output) for output group A
OUT-B Prof (+4dBu )
Consumer (-10dBv)
Level (Output) for output group B
Reserved for future expansions
Reserved for future expansions
General Tips / Troubleshooting
Mute Function
The ADAT signal, as specified by Alesis, is defined only for sample rates
between roughly 37 kHz and 50 kHz. In order to permit the transfer of 96 kHz
data streams via the optical cable, a transfer format with the name S-MUX was
developed, in which the eight channels of a standard ADAT interface are used
as four pairs, each of which can transfer one channel at the higher sample rate.
Unfortunately, the fact that an ADAT signal is being used in S-MUX mode
cannot be ascertained from the signal itself. This means that this mode must
be selected deliberately and manually by the user.
An important feature of a studio-grade AD/DA converter is the ability to
instantly mute itself, if errors occur in the digital data stream. This can happen
very easily in practice - for example, when more than one digital device in the
system is accidently operated as master. Such errors are especially
hazardous to high-quality monitor loudspeakers, which can quickly be
destroyed by the resulting high-energy impulses.
The A16 XLR mutes its inputs upon detecting a digital carrier signal with an
incorrect sample rate. On the other hand, an input signal from an
unsynchronized source does not cause muting, and the signal is allowed to go
through. Because the A16 XLR works with any phase at its inputs, clicks and
pops occur only occasionally, when an ''extra’' sample is inserted or when one
is left out. This can occur, if the A16 XLR and the computer to which it is
connected are both operating as sync master.
AIl of the LEDs associated with the Synchronization button are dual-color
LEDs. Green indicates that the sync source signal is of good quality and that
the high-jitter-tolerance / low-jitter PLL is locked to the sync signal. Red, on the
other hand, generally indicates a problem with the digital connections.
Inappropriate S-MUX activation can result in the generation of unwanted highfrequency signals. S-MUX is therefore always automatically switched off
whenever the sync source or the sync frequency is changed.
What happens if the transfer mode and the sample rate is chosen
- Normal source (i.e. 44.1 kHz) with A16 Ultra S-MUX 88.2 kHz:
Pairs of channels get ''mixed'' and image frequencies are produced in the
range 22-44 kHz (or 24-48 kHz). These higher frequencies generally inaudible
- could quietly cause overheating damage to the high-frequency drivers of a
monitor system.
S-MUX source (i.e. 96 kHz) with A16 XLR normal 48 kHz:
Each single signal is ''spread'' across two channels. Frequencies which above
24 kHz (or 22 kHz) will be imaged into the audible spectrum (this is normally
referred to as aliasing). This effect is rarely audible within most of the audio
material, as the high frequency content normally is minimal.
ADAT inputs may operate in an arbitrary phase relationship to the device Word
Clock. In addition, each device may have a different phase offset.
In a DAW-system composed of multiple S/TDMinterconnected Scope boards inside a single
computer, the correct phase alignment of the ZLink signals is managed automatically.
In order to ensure that groups A and B are played back correctly in-phase, the
start of every received ADAT signal must be offset by no more than +/- 25% of a
Word Clock period with respect to the reference clock (internal or sync
source). If the phase difference is larger than this, the signal will nevertheless
still be correctly received, but may be shifted by one sample.
If the two Z-Link streams are not properly phase-aligned, the A16 Ultra mutes
itself completely.
For proper operation of SonicCore boards we
therefore took care, that all ADAT outputs are
correctly phased anytime- even those of multicard
The stereo XLR jacks of the analog inputs and outputs are connected as
Analog connectors
Pin1: ground, pin2: hot, pin3: cold
(see the table 'Inputs and Outputs' on the next page)
Auto Synchronization
Whenever a signal is present on the ADAT A or Z-Link A interface, the A16
Ultra will synchronize itself to this signal, regardIess of whether a signal is also
present on interface B. When a signal is present on interface B and no signal is
detected on interface A, the A16 Ultra will synchronize itself to the interface
If only one Z-Link interface is connected, the other half of the converter
remains in ADAT mode. Since the converter always derives its sync clock from
the Z-Link data stream when in Z-Link mode, any device which is connected to
the ADAT interface must be operated as a sync slave.
The Z-Link connectors must be driven by phase-aligned signals.
Power Supply
The A16 XLR is delivered with the proper AC power adaptor and should be
used exclusively with this adapter.
In case of loss or damage please use only an 12 VAC 1.5A Power supply in
connection with your A16 XLR.
The green Power LED signals that the A16 XLR is ready for operation. If this
LED does not light, check whether the AC adaptor is being supplied with
power. The A16 XLR contains no internal user-replaceable fuses. It is
protected internally against thermal and electrical overloading and shuts itself
down automatically when necessary to avoid damage. When the problem has
been solved, the A16 XLR will automatically switch itself on again.
Inputs and Outputs
To avoid hum due to ground loops we recommend an ungrounded (earth lift)
wiring scheme.
We also recommend use of balanced lines with the A16 XLR adjusted to
+4dBu for optimal AD/DA quality.
A16 XLR technical specifications
Sample rates
96 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 48 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 32 kHz ( master )
30 kHz-100 kHz ( Word Clock - Slave )
38 kHz-50 kHz ( ADAT - Slave )
76 kHz-100 kHz ( ADAT - Slave S - MUX )
16 inputs and 16 outputs
Analog inputs
Stereo XLR jacks
Input sensitivity
MaximumInput level
Input impendance
Analog outputs
+ 4 dBu ( nominal )
+20 dBu ( 0 dBFS )
20 kOhm
Digital inputs and outputs
EIAJ connector 8 chan, 24 bits, 2 in, 2 out
2 standard 1394 connectors. 8 chan, 24 bits, 96 kHz
Word Clock In
75 Ohm, BNC
Word Clock Out 75 Ohm, BNC
General specifications
Supply voltage
12V AC
Power cunsumption
89,0 x 483,0 x 189,5 mm ( 1U )
5,8 Kg
Stereo XLR jacks
Output level
+ 4 dBu ( nominal )
Maximum output level +20 dBu ( 0 dBFS )
Input impendance
600 Ohm
Converter performance
Digital - Analog
Analog - Digital
24 bits / 128 x oversampling / 96 kHz
Frequency response
< + / - 0.15 dB ( 20 Hz - 20 kHz )
Dynamic range
110 dBA
100 dBA / 0,001 % typ.
Channel separation 105 dB @ 997 Hz typ.
24 bits / 96 kHz
Frequency response
< + / - 0.1 dB ( 20 Hz - 20 kHz )
Dynamic range
99 dBA
93 dBA / 0,0028 % typ.
Channel separation 102 dB @ 997 Hz typ.
For further information, please consult your SonicCore dealer or visit our Web
site at www.soniccore.de
SonicCore GmbH
Siegdamm 32
53721 Siegburg
Email: info@SonicCore.de
Tel : ( ++49 ) 2241-301 9595
Fax: ( ++49 ) 2241-301 9596
Technical specifications are subject to change without notice. Mentioned
product names are registered trademarks of the respective owners.
C 2007 SonicCore GmbH
SCOPE Platform (SP), SCOPE home / project / professional sowie das Zubehör für die
vorgenannten Produkte ( SyncPlate, home ADAT Expansion, Z-Link Plate, "Classic" 20 I/O Plate,
PLUS Plate), A16 Ultra, A16 XLR sind Produkte der SonicCore GmbH in Siegburg.
(c) SonicCore 2007 - alle Rechte vorbehalten.
Die nachfolgende Dokumentation wurde erstellt von SonicCore GmbH (SonicCore), und
beschreibt den jeweils aktuellen Stand der Produktentwicklung. SonicCore behält sich sich vor,
gegebenenfalls Änderungen an der Dokumentation vorzunehmen, sofern dies notwendig
erscheint. Eine Verpflichtung zur Veröffentlichung oder Benachrichtigung von Anwendern der
vorliegenden Dokumentation besteht nicht.
Wir weisen ausdrücklich darauf hin, dass die vorliegende Dokumentation typographische Fehler
oder technische Ungenauigkeiten enthalten kann.
SonicCore übernimmt keinerlei Gewähr, weder ausdrücklich noch implizit, für den Inhalt der
vorliegenden Dokumentation. Die Gewährleistung für das beschriebene Produkt ist in den
Gewährleistungsbestimmungen eingehend beschrieben.
In keinem Fall haftet SonicCore für jegliche Form von Datenverlust oder Datenfehlern im Rahmen
der Nutzung des Produktes oder vorliegender Dokumentation. Insbesondere schließt SonicCore
jegliche Haftung für Folgeschäden aus ( wie z.B. verlorene Gewinne, entgangene
Preisnachlässe, Produktionsausfälle sowie alle sonstigen Folgeschäden), welche sich aus der
Nutzung des Produktes oder der Verwendung der vorliegenden Dokumentation ergeben.
In der vorliegenden Dokumentation etwaig verwendete Bezeichnungen von Marken- oder
Produktnamen Dritter unterliegen gesetzlichen Bestimmungen des Patent- und Markenrechts
und sind das Eigentum der jeweiligen Rechteinhaber. Dies gilt auch dann, wenn im Text der
entsprechende Hinweis nicht explizit angebracht ist. In keinem Fall gewährleistet SonicCore,
dass die vorliegende Dokumentation und die hierin enthaltenen Informationen frei von Rechten
Dritter sind.
Die vorliegende Dokumentation darf ohne vorherige schriftliche Einwilligung der SonicCore
GmbH weder in Teilen oder zur Gänze kopiert, übersetzt oder auf elektronische Medien
übertragen werden.
Produkt und zugehörige Dokumentation unterliegen den AGB (Allgemeine
Geschäftsbedingungen) der SonicCore GmbH zum jeweils aktuellen Stand.
Warranty Regulations
The hardware described within this documentation and the warranty regulations are governed by
and granted according to German Law.
Für die Hardware des beschriebenen Produktes gelten die gesetzlichen Bestimmungen zur
Produktmängelhaftung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.
SonicCore GmbH (“SonicCore”) warrants, that the described product has been free of failures
within parts or components of the hardware and was found to be fully functional. Any single unit
was checked by Quality Assurance Department several times and with various measures, before
this product has been delivered to you. Therefore please carefully read the following information,
which is important in the case of probable damages or malfunctions:
Die SonicCore GmbH (“SonicCore”) gewährleistet für das beschriebene Produkt, dass es bei der
Herstellung frei von Material- und Herstellungsmängeln ist. Hierfür wurde jedes einzelne Gerät
von unserer Qualitätssicherung vielfach und sorgfältig getestet, bevor es ausgeliefert wurde. Bitte
beachten Sie daher bei etwaigen Mängeln die nachfolgend aufgeführten HInweise.
If goods are being found defective, missing features described within the present documentation
or becoming defective due to eventual fabrication deficiency or material defects within the first six
months after purchase, then SonicCore shall at its sole discretion and evaluation replace or repair
the defective parts or goods at no costs. Multiple repairs shall be permissible. In case the
malfunction or physical failure can not be fixed, customer receives the right to refrain from the
purchase with refund of the amount originally paid for the defective product. In case testing shows
no physical damages, customer will be charged for testing procedure and services.
Within the time frame of 6 to 24 months customer has to provide proof, that the claimed
malfunction or defective part or component has already been defective upon first delivery. In this
case SonicCore will execute required repair or replacement at no cost upon acceptance of
customer's proof by SonicCore. In any other cases a service and repair fee will be charged. Please
not, that we can not guarantee the success of repair services - especially after the warranty period.
Any deficiencies caused by transportation have to be declared within a 14 days period after receipt
of goods by written notice. Please note, that any warranty repair at no cost ruled by the above
regulations requires registration of name and address either via returning the registration card
coming with the product or by sending the proof of purchase together with the defective product.
To return defective goods, please contact the retailer where you purchased the product. As an
alternative you can also contact SonicCore directly to receive a RMA number for the defective
product. PLEASE NOTE: It is mandatory to return the product with the referring RMA number to
avoid delays in repair.
If possible, please also add a description of the failure occurred to enable us executing the repair
as soon as possible.
Innerhalb von 6 Monaten nach Erwerb wird SonicCore bei physikalischen Mängeln an der
Hardware diesen Mangel kostenfrei für Sie beheben. Die Behebung erfolgt in der Regel durch
Reparatur oder Instandsetzung. Kann auch nach dreimaliger Reparatur der aufgetretene Mangel
nicht behoben werden, besteht ein Anspruch auf Wandlung oder Rücktritt vom Kauf. Kann bei der
Überprüfung kein physikalischer Mangel festgestellt werden, ist die Überprüfung kostenpflichtig.
Im Zeitraum von 6 bis 24 Monaten nach Erwerb hat der Erwerber den Nachweis zu führen, dass
der aufgetretene Mangel bereits bei Auslieferung vorhanden war. In diesem Fall wird die
Reparatur oder Instandsetzung nach Vorlage der entsprechenden Nachweise ebenfalls
kostenfrei durchgeführt. In allen anderen Fällen ist die Instandsetzung kostenpflichtig. Für den
Erfolg durchgeführter Reparatur- oder Instandsetzungsmaßnahmen kann insbesondere nach
Ablauf der Gewährleistung keine Gewähr übernommen werden.
Transportschäden an Produkten sind innerhalb von 14 Tagen nach Erhalt SonicCore schriftlich
zur Kenntnis zu geben. Für den Anspruch auf die Durchführung einer Instandsetzung aus
Gewährleistung ist das Produkt unter Angabe von Name und Wohnsitz zu registrieren oder bei
Einsendung eine Kopie des Kaufbelegs beizufügen.
Bei Rücksendungen kontaktieren Sie bitte den Händler, bei dem Sie das Produkt erworben haben
zur weiteren Bearbeitung. Alternativ können Sie auch bei SonicCore vor Rücksendung eines
defekten Produktes eine RMA Nummer erhalten, die bei der Rücksendung unbedingt anzugeben
ist, um Verzögerungen in der Bearbeitung zu vermeiden. Fügen Sie nach Möglichkeit eine
detaillierte Fehlerbeschreibung bei, damit eine Reparatur auch in Ihrem Interesse zügig
durchgeführt werden kann.
Bei Schäden durch Mißbrauch, Unfall, Fahrlässigkeit, eigenmächtigen Eingriffen, Änderungen
oder Modifikationen am Produkt einschließlich der Betriebssoftware sowie mechanischer oder
elektronischer Bauteile, Siegelbruch oder bei Schäden, die auf Nichtbeachtung der in dieser
Anleitung gegebenen schriftlichen Anweisungen für ordnungsgemäßen Einbau, Wartung und
Benutzung zurückführbar sind, entfällt jeglicher Gewährleistungsanspruch.
The hardware described within this documentation is herewith certified to conform to the
The hardware described within this documentation is herewith certified to conform to the
requirements set forth in the guidelines for electromagnetic acceptability (89/336/EWG)
requirements set forth in the guidelines for electromagnetic acceptability (89/336/EWG)
SonicCore GmbH
++49 2241 3019595
++49 2241 3019596
Email Info@SonicCore.de
SonicCore GmbH
++49 2241 3019595
++49 2241 3019596
Email Info@SonicCore.de
SonicCore GmbH, August 2007
SonicCore GmbH, August 2007